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Lewiston hospital revises coronavirus sick leave policy after criticism from employees
Source:  The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » News
Monday, 06 April 2020 12:19

Nurses at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center had complained about a requirement that they use their own earned time off if they had to quarantine themselves for 14 days after a potential coronavirus exposure.

Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus, 1st known animal infection in U.S.
Source:  The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » News
Monday, 06 April 2020 12:18

A government official says there is no evidence to suggests 'that the animals can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States.'

British Open pushed to 2021, Masters golf tourney moved to November
Source:  Bangor Daily News
Monday, 06 April 2020 12:04

Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

The British Open will not be played this year for the first time since 1945, golf officials announced Monday as they tried to reconfigure a major championship schedule that would end with the Masters being played two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Still to be determined is when — or even if — golf can resume depending on the spread of COVID-19 that has shut down sports worldwide.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

The R&A announced that the British Open, scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in England, will be pushed back until July 15-18 in 2021, leaving the 150th Open for St. Andrews in 2022.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year, but it is not going to be possible,” R&A chief Martin Slumbers said.

The Masters, which was supposed to start Thursday, was rescheduled for Nov. 12-15. That would follow the PGA Championship on Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco and the U.S. Open — still at Winged Foot in New York — for Sept. 17-20.

“We hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said. “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials.”

Golf’s major organizations have been trying to piece together a puzzle for the last three weeks and each agreed to announce their schedules at the same time in a show of collaboration. Still missing is the starting line, along with details on what could be the most hectic pace golf has ever known.

The PGA Tour has the most moving parts, and it tentatively has planned to complete its FedEx Cup season close to schedule, with the Tour Championship wrapping up the postseason run on Labor Day. It also is contemplating putting tournaments in dates that previously belonged to the U.S. Open, British Open and Olympics.

“It’s a complex situation, and we want to balance the commitments to our various partners with playing opportunities for our members — while providing compelling competition to our fans,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “But all of that must be done while navigating the unprecedented global crisis that is impacting every single one of us.”

The new schedule features:

— Aug. 6-9: PGA Championship.

— Aug. 13-16: End of PGA Tour regular season at Wyndham Championship.

— Aug. 20-23: Start of FedEx Cup playoffs at The Northern Trust.

— Aug. 27-30: BMW Championship, second playoff event.

— Sept. 4-7: Tour Championship for the FedEx Cup.

— Sept. 17-20: U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

— Sept. 25-27: Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

It was not immediately clear how the teams from Europe and the United States would be determined for the Ryder Cup, although European captain Padraig Harrington has said he would not be opposed to picking all 12 players.

For the 24 players, that means going from what has long been regarded as the toughest test in golf to what has become the most tiresome three days in golf at the Ryder Cup.

Other details still to be sorted out includes U.S. Open qualifying. Like everything else, it all starts with when golf resumes. The next tournament still on the schedule is Colonial on May 21-24, though that appears unlikely.

Ridley said every player who has received invitations to play the Masters in April will stay on the list, with more details to be sorted out later. He also said the Augusta National Women’s Amateur was canceled, and every player can keep their spots for next year provided they don’t turn pro.

Winged Foot just north of New York City is about 5 miles away from a hot spot for the new coronavirus. Construction for the U.S. Open was stopped two weeks ago as the USGA tried to determine its best course. For now, it’s to stay in New York with a September date.

The last time the U.S. Open was this late in the year was in 1913, when amateur Francis Ouimet took down Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at Brookline to put golf on the map in the United States.

The U.S. Senior Open at Newport Country Club and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Connecticut have been canceled.

The PGA Championship, which last year moved to May for the first time in some 70 years, returns to August at Harding Park in San Francisco.

The British Open last was canceled in 1945 because of World War II. Slumbers said those with tickets or hospitality packages can use them in 2021 or get a full refund.

Meanwhile, the claret jug stays with Shane Lowry of Ireland, who won last year at Royal Portrush. He won’t have possession as long as Dick Burton, who won in 1939, the year before it was canceled because of the war.

Lowry said in a video tweet he understood and supported the R&A’s decision.

“You can trust me when I say the claret jug is going to be in safe hands for another year,” Lowry said.

Watch: 6 ways you can prevent COVID-19


Gaga raises $35 million for virus fight, curates all-star TV event
Source:  The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » News
Monday, 06 April 2020 12:03

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel will host 'One World: Together At Home,' which will also highlight those affected by the virus and celebrate health care workers on the front lines.

U.S., UK brace for soaring death tolls, while many nations see glimmers of hope
Source:  The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » News
Monday, 06 April 2020 11:43

In Spain, deaths and new infections dropped again Monday, with the health ministry reporting 637 new deaths, the lowest daily toll in 13 days, for a total of over 13,000 dead.

Maine Acts of Kindness: Read about charitable efforts during the pandemic
Source:  The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » News
Monday, 06 April 2020 11:37

U.S., UK brace for soaring death tolls, while many nations see glimmers of hope
Source:  Central Maine » News
Monday, 06 April 2020 11:34

In Spain, deaths and new infections dropped again Monday, with the health ministry reporting 637 new deaths, the lowest daily toll in 13 days, for a total of over 13,000 dead.

Snowmelt, ice breakup lead to flooding in Aroostook County
Source:  Bangor Daily News
Monday, 06 April 2020 11:34

This story will be updated.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — As warmer days increase and ice and snow melt, rivers and streams are already overflowing their banks in some locations in Aroostook County.

The National Weather Service in Caribou issued an area flood advisory at 3:43 a.m. Monday effective until 3:45 p.m.

Local law enforcement closed down a portion of Grimes Road, near the Caribou and Fort Fairfield line, due to minor flooding caused by an ice jam on the Aroostook River. The road is not passable, and the NWS advised motorists to turn around when encountering any flooded roadways, adding that most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Aroostook River ice was flowing heavily past Crouseville, according to the Aroostook County Flood Watch Facebook page, moderated by Aroostook County Emergency Management.

Monday’s forecast called for possible scattered rain and snow showers from late afternoon into the evening in Aroostook County, with generally fair conditions around central and southern portions of the state.

Statewide at noon, the NWS office in Caribou indicated no flooding at the St. John River. The NWS in Gray reported the Mattawamkeag River at Mattawamkeag and the Kennebec River at Skowhegan to be near flood stage, with similar conditions in the Portland coastal area. No flooding was reported at that time for the Piscataquis, Penobscot, Androscoggin or other major state rivers.



NextPhase nears deal to make ventilators in Rochester, looks to hire
Source:  News -
Monday, 06 April 2020 11:21

ROCHESTER -- NextPhase Medical Devices LLC is “close to finalizing a deal” to produce ventilators at its plant in the city, which could lead to the hiring of as many as 100 temporary workers.Carlo W. Colesanti, the president and chief executive officer of the company, said Monday the deal is not done yet. But the company is in “the process of finalizing our contracts and we’re in the process of finalizing our schedule” to produce the much-needed [...]

Portsmouth police officer tests positive for coronavirus
Source:  News -
Monday, 06 April 2020 11:21

PORTSMOUTH -- A city police officer is recovering at home after testing positive for the new coronavirus, but had no contact with the public before or after his diagnosis, Police Chief Robert Merner said.Four other police officers have been tested, after exhibiting cold-like symptoms, and they all tested negative, according to the police chief.Fire Chief Todd Germain said four firefighters were out, two who had symptoms and two who had family members with symptoms. Two [...]

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